Perhaps the biggest news that came out of Tom Holmoe’s roundtable discussion with reporters who cover BYU sports came later in the 45-minute session, when the BYU athletic director brought up the school’s new policy about (not) confirming honor code investigations and violations.
Actually, former Tribune reporter Patrick Kinahan, who now works for sports radio station 1280 The Zone, asked the question that got the dialogue started. He asked whether coaches Dave Rose and Bronco Mendenhall have some leeway in deciding punishments for honor code violations because they have each been a head coach at BYU for a decade now.
You can read my story on Holmoe’s announcement here, or in this morning’s newspaper.
For those of you who want more, here’s a transcript of the discussion, picking up where Holmoe first announced the policy change:
Holmoe: "This would be a good time to say that over the last year we have had discussions with people on campus regarding an honor code policy, and we have had a number of discussions that have led to the point where when we receive — as of Jan. 1, so moving forward — when we receive inquiries from the media about honor code issues we no longer will address them from a campus perspective.
There won’t be a campus spokesperson that addresses any honor code issues anymore.
There will be two exceptions to that:
One, is if there is something that is in public record. If it is an honor code violation — which every one of you here at the table understands, you have read the honor code — and the public record shows that an honor code violation has occurred, then our spokesperson could talk about that.
Or, if one of our student-athletes chooses to come public, then we would. But we won’t discuss that anymore, any honor code violations, any more. And so, don’t ask."
Reporter: "So did that change after the Spencer Hadley incident?"
Holmoe: "If you went backwards, if there was something that was public, then we would address it. But if it is not public, we wouldn’t address it. And for that matter, say there was something of public record, that wasn’t addressed by the media — so nobody knew anything about it. It took place in Juneau, Alaska, but it was of public record — we wouldn’t discuss it. So that’s where it is going."
Reporter: "So BYU spokesperson won’t confirm or even acknowledge honor code investigations now?"
Holmoe: "That’s correct."
Reporter: "So when coaches say it is a violation of team rules, will that stand as only comment?"
Holmoe: "Correct. No longer will we comment on that. It will just be what the coach determines. So a coach could say a violation of team rules, or something else. But that’s pretty generic, and that’s what I would like to see happen."
Reporter: "How do you define a player going public with it?"
Holmoe: "If it is public knowledge, then that is their issue. If they bring it up, and sometimes they want to, then it is you can do with it what you want. And we would henceforth be able to comment, since they have already brought it to the table."
Reporter: "Was it a struggle to reach this decision, or was everybody at BYU on board?"
Holmoe: "I think that it just in terms of over the course of a few years, with social media and the amount of media, it has changed from over the years. … The time had come to change that. I think everybody on campus was supportive to go through the process, which we arrived at."
Reporter: "Did you spearhead it?"
Holmoe: "No, I didn’t spearhead it, but I was involved. .. There are always conversations that come up about it over the past years where there are opinions that are articulated at the time, behind closed doors. But now I think everybody got together and said, ‘hey, let’s really address this and possibly have this change in the policy."
Reporter: "Does it bother you that BYU athletes attract unwanted attention for doing things students at other schools can do freely?"
Holmoe: "I am just happy we are at where we are at right now. It is a good resolution to a number of different discussions."
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